Muriel Rahn as Cora in The Barrier.
Photograph by Carl Van Vechten.
Muriel Ellen Rahn
June 12, 1911
Boston, Massachusetts, United States
|Died||August 8, 1961 (aged 50)|
New York City, United States
|Occupation||singer, actor, musical director|
|Spouse(s)||Charles Rountree (divorced)|
Dick Campbell (c. 1932–1961) (her death)
Muriel Ellen Rahn (1911–1961) was an American vocalist and actress. She co-founded the Rose McClendon Players with her husband, Dick Campbell and was one of the leading black concert singers of the mid-20th Century. She is perhaps best known for her starring role in the original Broadway production of Carmen Jones. Rahn also served as musical director of the German State Theater in Frankfurt.
Muriel Ellen Rahn was born in Boston in 1911, the daughter of Willie and Elizabeth "Bessie" Rahn (née Smith). After her father died, she moved with her mother to New York City, where Bessie met and married Cornelius M. Battey, who became director of photography of the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. Muriel finished her high school at Tuskegee, then attended Atlanta University before earning a degree from the Music Conservatory of the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. She was also educated at Columbia University and studied voice at Juilliard School of Music.
In 1929, she launched her professional career in New York City. One of her earlier appearances on Broadway was in the musical, Come of Age written and staged by Clamence Dane with music by Richard Addinsell.
In 1950, Rahn made one of her last appearances on Broadway. Opposite operatic legend Lawrence Tibbett, she played the role of Cora Lewis in the musical, The Barrier, based on the play, Mulatto by Langston Hughes.
Later stage credits included the off-Broadway production of Sara Reavin's melodrama, The Ivory Branch with Diana Barrymore. In 1959, Rahn became the first black musical director of the Städtische Bühnen Frankfurt, Germany.
|1956||The Ivory Branch.||Provincetown Playhouse|
|1950||The Barrier||Cora Lewis||Broadhurst Theatre|
|1943||Carmen Jones||Carmen||Broadway Theatre||Alternated lead role with Muriel Smith|
|1942||The Pirate||Lizarda||Martin Beck Theatre|
|1939||Swingin’ The Dream||Singer||Center Theatre|
|1934||Come of Age||An Entertainer||Maxine Elliott's Theatre|
|1958||The Arlene Francis Show||Herself|
|1957||Hallmark Hall of Fame||Zipporah||A production of The Green Pastures|
|1952||Hollywood Screen Test|
|1951||The Ed Sullivan Show||Herself|
|1934||King for a Day (short)||Herself|
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- Johnson, John H., ed. (August 24, 1961). Jet. Chicago, Illinois: Johnson Publishing Company, Inc. 20 (18): 48. Missing or empty
- "Muriel Rahn (1911–1961)". Women in World History: A Biographical Encyclopedia.
African-American singer Muriel Rahn began performing while in college and launched her professional career in New York in 1929…
- Who's Who of American Women. I (1st ed.). Chicago: Marquis Who's Who. 1959. p. 1047.
- Perry, Patsy (1991). "Muriel Rahn (1911–1961)". In Smith, Jessie Carney (ed.). Notable Black American Women. Detroit: Gale Research. pp. 911–913. ISBN 0-8103-4749-0.
- "Come of Age". New York City: Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved July 11, 2011.
- "The Barrier". New York City: Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved July 11, 2011.
- Calta, Louis (May 24, 1956). "Sara Reavin play to open tonight; 'Ivory Branch,' with Muriel Rahn and Diana Barrymore, to bow at Provincetown, Ewell set in 'Candide,' Granger may do 'Playboy'". The New York Times. New York City. p. 26.
The Ivory Branch," a melodrama by Sara Reavin, will have its off-Broadway premiere at the Provincetown Playhouse tonight at 8 o'clock.
- Johnson, John H., ed. (November 5, 1959). "Muriel Rahn gets music post in Germany". Jet. Chicago, Illinois: Johnson Publishing Company, Inc. 17 (2): 59.
- "The Pirate". New York City: Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved July 11, 2011.
- "Swingin' The Dream". New York City: Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved July 11, 2011.
- Johnson, John H., ed. (February 21, 1952). "Week's Radio-TV Preview". Jet. Chicago, Illinois: Johnson Publishing Company, Inc. 1 (17): 60.
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